Some Ask: “Are Teachers Capable of Innovation?”

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

This blog by Stephanie Sandifer of Change Agency hit a nerve with me: Khan Academy, TED-Ed and the new leaders in education reform – REALLY?!

We are in full agreement with Stephanie. Those of us “outside” the system are here to empower teachers by providing them with exceptional free tools and content…not to replace them. The way we do schooling is changing just as the rest of our world evolves, but that does not mean that teachers and education leaders are not-change makers! Teachers do the heavy lifting. Teachers choose the materials and methods that will work for their students. Teachers are the heroes!

I’d like to hear your opinion as a teacher or an educator.

2 responses to “Some Ask: “Are Teachers Capable of Innovation?”

  1. Teachers as everyone knows is builder of future generations so he has to be innovative in his day today practices,otherwise he will not be helping anyone even his own self.With the passage of time he should be a resourceful person otherwise he is lost for ever.

  2. Janet,

    I read Stephanie Sandifer’s response to the Khan Academy article and I agree with her that not all teachers or instructors posses ultimate technology skills (including myself), but many do. We strive to gain the technology skills to be able to stretch our teaching methodologies to match the student’s learning styles and engage the students. It’s all about engaging the students. Learning takes place internally and when students are engaged and interested in what’s going on, they will learn like a sponge.

    I agree that traditionally, most instruction (college instruction) has been done by lecture where the teacher is a talking head. I did it for more years than I care to remember. I tried to include occasional activities to wake the bobbing heads up, but by and large, lecture was the primary delivery method. I also remember that the lower grades had to change activities fairly often to keep the students focused.

    Now, we have web-based, interactive assignments that can engage the students in the learning process. Whether the assignments are created by the instructor or canned assignments from the publisher, students now have chapter outlines, mini quizzes, crossword puzzles, and games that introduce concepts in any discipline we teach. In addition, publishers offer instant feedback and grading for assignments and assessments so that we no longer have to collect paper documents to grade. This frees us up to be more creative and innovative in our teaching strategies.

    Lecture delivery was all we knew until global course hosts and interactive publisher materials became available. Until the college embraced these ‘new’ technologies, our hands were still tied to the lecture. It takes thinking out of the box to effect new technology; and until we can get everyone on board the new technology train, not much will change in the way of student learning.

    While many of us may not all have the ultimate ‘techy’ skills, we are getting there.

    Janet Lindner, IST Instructor
    Midlands Technical College
    Columbia, SC

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